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The European Parliament’s decision not to immediately pass the new EU Copyright Directive in July was seen by many as a major setback. It was defeated by 318 to 278, a margin of 40 votes. This means the proposed legislation now moves forward to a full plenary debate and vote next Wednesday 12 September.

As the music industry faces this pivotal moment, it is worth reflecting how we got here and what we are now facing.

The creative industries as a whole have long argued that embryonic digital legislation passed in the mid 1990s is outdated and simply not fit for purpose. The legislative process is slow at the best of times. Meanwhile, the tech industry “moved fast and broke things,” incurring the wrath of creators whose livelihoods have been upended as a result.

The publication of the draft EU Copyright Directive in late 2016 was an achievement in itself. Not only did the draft legislation address copyright protection and safe harbour loopholes, it also contained provisions concerning fairness and transparency towards creators. Following further debate and lobbying, is even more of an achievement that the key elements of the draft directive remain mostly intact.

The Directive has not been without it’s critics, as is the case with any proposed legislation. Academics, libraries and dignitaries such as Sir Tim Berners-Lee have all put forth concerns. We in the music industry can acknowledge some concerns as understandable even if we believe they are unfounded.

What is not understandable are the thoroughly vile and dishonest tactics deployed during the course of this year, whose objective is to stop the legislation in its tracks at any cost. The scale of this activity reads like set pieces straight out of the Cambridge Analytica playbook.

Some in the music industry have questioned how we fight back given the vast funding involved and the sheer scale of this enterprise. But fight back we must and the actions of those we face only serve to give us greater strength.

As any Jiu-Jitsu grandmaster will tell you: use your opponents’ force against them. In this case, we should call out the deceitful actions from within the tech sector and elsewhere and those actions speak louder than any words.

  • The Financial Times reported some MEPs received death threats

  • MEPs were each bombarded with over 60,000 emails from bots

  • These emails contained identical content according to The Trichordist

  • The same blog named the domain name from which a large number of these emails originated and its link to a US Inc. entity.

  • The same tactics have been found on Twitter: multiple bot accounts promoting #SaveOurInternet and similar hashtags

  • This contrasts to real world protests that only drew a few hundred protestors combined across Europe. The bots did not show up.

 

These actions must also be viewed against the current backdrop where tech firms have been scrutinised for avoiding responsibility concerning:

  • Blatantly dishonest content

  • Content that incites hatred and violence

  • Little accountability in how such content is disseminated

  • Minimal transparency in how user data is abused in facilitating all this

Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey are amongst those tech executives rebuked by lawmakers on both sides of the Atlantic, for failing to take responsibility and failing to act in managing their own platforms. This is reflective of a broader failure that lies at the heart of a misguided and libertarian ideal, that somehow tech firms are exempt from laws and rules that govern the rest of the world.

The music industry and broader creative and media industries are made up of real people, filled with passion and blood pumping through their veins. They compose their own emails, speak to politicians and show up in person.

At the UK Music organized #LoveMusic busking event in London earlier today, artists, executives and even politicians turned out in support. Artists such as Brett Anderson, Ed Harcourt, Dave Rowntree, Madeleina Kay, Newton Faulkner and BASCA Chair Crispin Hunt. In addition a number of cross party British MPs who support the directive including Tom Watson, Nigel Evans and Kevin Brennan were amongst those in attendance.

One has to ask, if those opposing the EU Copyright Directive have such a compelling argument, why do they resort to such deceitful means? If we judge their actions, the arguments of those opposed to the directive hold no legitimacy and the European Parliament should vote in favour of the directive.

Andy Edwards, music manager and consultant
@andyedwardsbiz

25 Apr 2019 | Press release

AWAL launches radio show residency on foundation.fm

AWAL will take to the airwaves with the launch of a biweekly residency, ‘A World Artists Love,’. Each episode will feature AWAL artists and the series kicks off today with Franc Moody. Episodes will explore the sonic lineage of a different...more

25 Apr 2019 | Press release

Nominations announced for the The Ivors 2019

The Ivors Academy have announced the nominations for The Ivors 2019. The winners will be revealed at a star-studded ceremony at Grosvenor House, Park Lane, London on 23rd May. The Ivors, now in their 64th year, celebrate, honour...more

25 Apr 2019 | Press release

BMG promotes Marian Wolf to VP, Global Writer Services & China

BMG is proud to announce the promotion ofMarian Wolf to Vice President, Global Writer Services & China. Based in Los Angeles, Wolf will now lead the day-to-day operations of BMG's Global Writer Services for the international publishing roster. He continues to...more

25 Apr 2019 | Press release

All-Party Music Group hits century mark as Lord Grade becomes 100th politician to sign up

The influential All-Party Parliamentary Group on Music (APPG) is celebrating after signing up its 100th senior politician. Former BBC and ITV chairman Lord Grade took the Westminster group of MPs and peers to the landmark.Membership of the APPG has grown by...more

25 Apr 2019 | Press release

Fierce Panda signs Desperate Journalist for publishing as part of Bucks Music Group JV

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25 Apr 2019 | Press release

We Are Scientists to commemorate the anniversary of their debut album, With Love & Squalor, with a reissue of the vinyl and a short run of shows this autumn.

WE ARE SCIENTISTS ANNOUNCE 50TH ANNIVERSARY SHOWS AND VINYL REISSUE FOR DEBUT ALBUM ‘WITH LOVE & SQUALOR’   PRE-SALE TICKETS AVAILABLE NOW: http://smarturl.it/WLAS_TicketBundles   GENERAL ONSALE THIS FRIDAY, 26TH APRIL, AT 11AM UK   New York’s indie cult band We Are Scientists will commemorate the 50th anniversary...more

25 Apr 2019 | Press release

2019 Hyundai Mercury Prize now open for entries – and 2019 dates announced

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24 Apr 2019 | Press release

Townsend gains German chart eligibility in D2C first

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24 Apr 2019 | Press release

Warner Music opens office in Peru

Warner Music has opened a new affiliate in Peru, one of the fastest-growing music markets in Latin America.  Warner Music Peru will be based in Lima and headed by Country Manager Angela Sarmiento Vera.  Sarmiento Vera is heading the operation after...more

24 Apr 2019 | Press release

CTM buys Ross Campbell catalogue, including hit Push The Feeling On

Successful Scottish composer and original Nightcrawlers band member Ross Campbellhas sold his publishing catalogue to CTM. Most important song in this music catalogue is 'Push the feeling on', released in 1992 by the Nightcrawlers, one of the very few timeless house music standards...more

24 Apr 2019 | Press release

Brighton Music Conference has announced a Morales livestream and BBC Newsbeat broadcast from the BA1360 pod, plus Boiler Room collaboration at The Arch and BMC Beach Clean.

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24 Apr 2019 | Press release

Nominations announced for The Ivors 2019

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24 Apr 2019 | Press release

Pink Sweat$ announced as Apple Music Up Next Artist

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24 Apr 2019 | Press release

AWAL Expands Artist Marketing Team To Foster Brand Partnerships For AWAL Artists And Labels

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24 Apr 2019 | Press release

Sony/ATV Music Publishing has signed Grammy-winning songwriter, artist and producer Mustard to a worldwide deal

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24 Apr 2019 | Press release

Ally McCrae and Sophie Paluch launch new ten-part podcast series about the secrets of music management

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23 Apr 2019 | Press release

BBC Radio 1 to tour the North East ahead of Big Weekend

BBC Radio 1 will host a number of outreach sessions in schools, colleges, universities and community centres across the North East in the run up to Radio 1’s Big Weekend in Middlesbrough.  Comprising of a schools tour, a takeover of Middlesbrough College, and a...more

23 Apr 2019 | Press release

IMPEL names Sarah Williams as CEO

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23 Apr 2019 | Press release

Silva Screen Music Group acquires Sirocco jazz catalogue

A welcome return of a much loved and respected Jazz label.On 1st May 2019, Sirocco will be joining Silva Screen Music Group’s highly acclaimed jazz labels, CMP and Hip Bop. Unavailable both digitally and physically for four years (including vinyl...more

23 Apr 2019 | Press release

Hipgnosis acquires catalogue from Starrah

Hipgnosis Songs Fund Limited (“Hipgnosis” or the “Company”)Acquisition of Music Catalogue   The Board of Hipgnosis Songs Fund Limited and its Investment Adviser, The Family (Music) Limited, are pleased to announce that the Company has acquired a music catalogue from Brittany Hazzard, aka...more

23 Apr 2019 | Press release

Latin independent powerhouse Del Records enters into new global partnership with BMG

Leading Latin independent powerhouse DEL Records has entered into a new long-term global partnership with BMG. Under the new agreement, BMG will serve as the exclusive worldwide publishing administrator for each of DEL's publishing entities DEL Melodies (BMI), DEL World Songs...more

22 Apr 2019 | Press release

Kobalt signs worldwide publishing deal with global DJ duo Loud Luxury

Canadian DJs and Producers Ink Deal Amid International Success of Acclaimed Hit “Body” and Over 650 Million Streams Kobalt has announced an exclusive worldwide agreement with electronic producers and DJs Loud Luxury, which consists of Andrew Fedyk and Joe Depace. The...more

19 Apr 2019 | Press release

Allman Betts Band sign to BMG to release debut album

The Allman Betts Band have signed a new global recording agreement with BMG to release their forthcoming debut album Down To The River. Led by Devon Allman, son of founding Allman Brothers Band keyboardist and singer, Gregg Allman, and Duane...more

18 Apr 2019 | Press release

EU Parliament green lights bot ban in first move against online ticket touting

Landmark ruling is EU’s first action to regulate ticket resale Ticket resellers must also declare if they are a professional sellerPaves the way for further harmonisation of touting laws across Europe, seen as critical to bringing secondary platforms to heelMove follows...more

18 Apr 2019 | Press release

Global music community prevails in winning the rights to the .MUSIC domain extension

DotMusic Limited (www.music.us) announces that their global music community application for the .MUSIC registry prevailed. ICANN will award DotMusic the rights to the .MUSIC top-level domain name extension and move to contracting soon. Other applicants for .MUSIC included global companies, Google...more

18 Apr 2019 | Press release

Enjoy YouTube Music free on Google Home speakers

Listening to music on your Google Home speaker right out-of-the-box seems too good to be true, right? It’s not—starting today, YouTube Music is offering a free, ad-supported experience on Google Home speakers (or other Google Assistant-powered speakers).  Need a groove to...more

18 Apr 2019 | Press release

IMS Ibiza announces full 2019 speakers: Klas Bergling (Avicii's Father), Zane Lowe & Professor Green

Klas Bergling on the vision and goals for the Tim Bergling Foundation supporting mental health and suicide prevention Zane Lowe talks about Apple Music, its global livestream Beats 1 and the multiple opportunities within the service for electronic music. Exclusive Keynote...more

18 Apr 2019 | Press release

Kobalt have signed legendary singer-songwriter and keyboardist Michael McDonald

Kobalt announced that it had concluded a deal with legendary singer-songwriter and keyboardist Michael McDonald. The worldwide agreement includes administrative, creative and global synch services for all of McDonald’s catalogue and future works.  Said Kobalt Music Executive Vice President, Business Development,...more

18 Apr 2019 | Press release

Nova Twins, And So I Watch You From Afar, Joshua Burnside and Oscar Worldpeace among the latest 21 artists to receive support from PRS Foundation’s Momentum Music Fund

First two Liverpool based artists to receive Momentum Accelerator support Next deadline for applications 28th May 2019 PRS Foundation , the UK’s leading charitable funder of new music and talent development, together with PPL, Creative...more

17 Apr 2019 | Press release

Blueprint Radio Starts New Podcast Division – Blueprint Pods.

Blueprint Radio, one of the UK’s leading independent national radio promotions companies, today announces it has formed a  new division specialising in podcasts  - Blueprint Pods.  Blueprint Pods is the UK’s first podcast led plugging service, where artists are matched with podcasts that...more

25 Apr 2019

  • Socially-conscious songs lead nominees for Ivor Novello Awards. (see News)

  • BBC to create role of Controller, BBC Pop Music. (see Media)

24 Apr 2019

  • Superstruct and Broadwick Live acquire Global festivals. (see Business)

  • IMPEL appoints Sarah Williams as CEO. (see News)

23 Apr 2019

  • Beyoncé strikes three-project deal with Netflix; Homecoming album plus Lemonade album now on streaming services. (see Digital)

18 Apr 2019

  • European Parliament bans bots that mass-purchase concert tickets. (see News)

17 Apr 2019

  • Spotify opens Research and Development hub in London. (see News)

16 Apr 2019

  • Universal reports strong Q1 results. (see Business)

  • Final adoption of the Copyright Directive approved. (see News)

15 Apr 2019

  • Hipgnosis Songs exceeds fundraising target. (see Business)

  • Amazon said to be launching a free, ad-supported music service. (see Digital)

12 Apr 2019

  • Entertainment One to acquire Audio Network. (see Business)

  • BBC Music launches on BBC.com in the US. (see Media)

11 Apr 2019

  • 7digital must raise more equity to “continue as a going concern". (see Business)

  • US songwriters organisation urges songwriters to "abandon" Spotify. (see News)

  • Daniel Ek interview suggests Spotify's move away from editorial playlists. (see News)

10 Apr 2019

  • Hit songwriters slam Spotify’s attempt to lower royalties. (See News)

  • Instrumental enters partnership with Coda. (see News)

  • Broadwick Live announce major new event space in London. (see News)